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  1. Nuclear spin singlet states are often found to allow long-lived storage of nuclear magnetization, which can form the basis of novel applications in spectroscopy, imaging, and in studies of dynamic processes. Precisely how long such polarization remains intact, and which factors affect its lifetime is often difficult to determine and predict. We present a combined experimental/computational study to demonstrate that molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio calculations can be used to fully account for the experimentally observed proton singlet lifetimes in ethyl-d 5 -propyl-d 7 -maleate in deuterated chloroform as solvent. The correspondence between experiment and simulations is achieved without adjustable parameters. These studies highlight the importance of considering unusual and difficult-to-control mechanisms, such as dipolar couplings to low-gamma solvent nuclei, and to residual paramagnetic species, which often can represent lifetime limiting factors. These results also point to the power of molecular dynamics simulations to provide insights into little-known NMR relaxation mechanisms. 
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  2. Abstract

    The rational design of nanoscopic DNA tiles has yielded highly ordered crystalline matter in 2D and 3D. The most well‐studied 3D tile is the DNA tensegrity triangle, which is known to self‐assemble into macroscopic crystals. However, contemporary rational design parameters for 3D DNA crystals nearly universally invoke integer numbers of DNA helical turns and Watson–Crick (WC) base pairs. In this study, 24‐bp edges are substituted into a previously 21‐bp (two helical turns of DNA) tensegrity triangle motif to explore whether such unconventional motif can self‐assemble into 3D crystals. The use of noncanonical base pairs in the sticky ends results in a cubic arrangement of tensegrity triangles with exceedingly high symmetry, assembling a lattice from winding helical axes and diamond‐like tessellation patterns. Reverting this motif to sticky ends with Watson–Crick pairs results in a trigonal hexagonal arrangement, replicating this diamond arrangement in a hexagonal context. These results showcase that the authors can generate unexpected, highly complex, pathways for materials design by testing modifications to 3D tiles without prior knowledge of the ensuing symmetry. This study expands the rational design toolbox for DNA nanotechnology; and it further illustrates the existence of yet‐unexplored arrangements of crystalline soft matter.

     
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  3. The examination and optimized preparation of nuclear spin singlet order has enabled the development of new types of applications that rely on potentially long-term polarization storage. Lifetimes several orders of magnitude longer than T 1 have been observed. The efficient creation of such states relies on special pulse sequences. The extreme cases of very large and very small magnetic equivalence received primary attention, while relatively little effort has been directed towards studying singlet relaxation in the intermediate regime. The intermediate case is of interest as it is relevant for many spin systems, and would also apply to heteronuclear systems in very low magnetic fields. Experimental evidence for singlet–triplet leakage in the intermediate regime is sparse. Here we describe a pulse sequence for efficiently creating singlets in the intermediate regime in a broad-band fashion. Singlet lifetimes are studied with a specially synthesized molecule over a wide range of magnetic fields using a home-built sample-lift apparatus. The experimental results are supplemented with spin simulations using parameters obtained from ab initio calculations. This work indicates that the chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) mechanism is relatively weak compared to singlet–triplet leakage for the proton system observed over a large magnetic field range. These experiments provide a mechanism for expanding the scope of singlet NMR to a larger class of molecules, and provide new insights into singlet lifetime limiting factors. 
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  4. Abstract

    DNA double helices containing metal‐mediated DNA (mmDNA) base pairs are constructed from Ag+and Hg2+ions between pyrimidine:pyrimidine pairs with the promise of nanoelectronics. Rational design of mmDNA nanomaterials is impractical without a complete lexical and structural description. Here, the programmability of structural DNA nanotechnology toward its founding mission of self‐assembling a diffraction platform for biomolecular structure determination is explored. The tensegrity triangle is employed to build a comprehensive structural library of mmDNA pairs via X‐ray diffraction and generalized design rules for mmDNA construction are elucidated. Two binding modes are uncovered: N3‐dominant, centrosymmetric pairs and major groove binders driven by 5‐position ring modifications. Energy gap calculations show additional levels in the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMO) of mmDNA structures, rendering them attractive molecular electronic candidates.

     
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  5. Abstract

    A quasi‐one‐dimensional organic semiconductor, hepta(p‐phenylene vinylene) (HPV), was incorporated into a DNA tensegrity triangle motif using a covalent strategy. 3D arrays were self‐assembled from an HPV‐DNA pseudo‐rhombohedron edge by rational design and characterized by X‐ray diffraction. Templated by the DNA motif, HPV molecules exist as single‐molecule fluorescence emitters at the concentration of 8 mM within the crystal lattice. The anisotropic fluorescence emission from HPV‐DNA crystals indicates HPV molecules are well aligned in the macroscopic 3D DNA lattices. Sophisticated nanodevices and functional materials constructed from DNA can be developed from this strategy by addressing functional components with molecular accuracy.

     
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  6. Abstract

    A quasi‐one‐dimensional organic semiconductor, hepta(p‐phenylene vinylene) (HPV), was incorporated into a DNA tensegrity triangle motif using a covalent strategy. 3D arrays were self‐assembled from an HPV‐DNA pseudo‐rhombohedron edge by rational design and characterized by X‐ray diffraction. Templated by the DNA motif, HPV molecules exist as single‐molecule fluorescence emitters at the concentration of 8 mM within the crystal lattice. The anisotropic fluorescence emission from HPV‐DNA crystals indicates HPV molecules are well aligned in the macroscopic 3D DNA lattices. Sophisticated nanodevices and functional materials constructed from DNA can be developed from this strategy by addressing functional components with molecular accuracy.

     
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